I always like to say that there is tile for every taste out there. You can stick to traditional glazed tiles and natural stone, or get something handmade and unusual. For this grand home in Historic Lockeland Springs in East Nashville, glass tiles were the way to go.
I don’t get to do a lot of glass tile. I suppose this is mainly because it is generally more expensive than other tiles. This means that glass tile tends to end up in the luxurious or upscale category. A fitting description for this 19th century home that has 14 foot ceilings in the kitchen!
This Victorian style home had been renovated a few years ago and this included the kitchen. It had beautiful cabinetry with granite counters but no backsplash. this was a detail that would come later… and the time had come.
Backsplashes like this are (normally) fairly simple to tile because 1) there’s not a lot of prepwork involved- lay tile over the drywall and 2) the countertops provide a solid level surface to start with. After taking some measurements I was soon laying tile.
TIPS FOR USING GLASS TILE
If you are working with glass tile, here are some tips that might help. First, use white thinset mortar and make sure you get good coverage. The tiles usually have an opaque paper backing on them of some kind, but it’s still possible for color variations from the wall to come through the tile. Second, I found that it worked a little better to cut these tiles face down. This kept a straighter edge to the colored backing and helped it not to chip away and leave a jagged spot that could be seen through the tile. Lastly, they do make special wet saw blades just forcutting glass tiles. I was actually using a Pearl porcelain blade that seemed to work fairly well.
For the most part, laying glass tiles isn’t that different from other tile if you follow the above considerations. These specific tiles were from Daltile’s Glass Reflections series and were a color called Cream Soda. (Product GR18) The retail price on this is over $40 per square foot. (YIKES!!) However, you can find it online for closer to $15 a square foot. There is no question that this is a high quality product.
It was a honor to make my mark on such a fantastic home. Glass tiles are definitely one of my favorite choices for an outstanding backsplash.